My mother has a strong heart. She has never smoked or drank large amounts of alcohol; has always eaten well (despite the love of all things sweet and chocolaty) and although never one for sport, she enjoyed walking and kept active.
Now it is her strong heart that is keeping her going although her brain has all but given up the ghost. Two weeks on she remains much the same, with some minor improvements in consciousness, although I am not sure how much of that is wishful thinking on my part. I am not sure how good her strong heart is for her well being. She is completely dependent for everything, being fed and given fluids through a tube, she has a catheter and wears pads. The only parts of her body that she can move herself are her left arm and leg. She can shrug her left shoulder and use her left arm to feel her face and hair, and while she is there play around with the tube in her nose. She seems to be able to see things when she is awake and at times can recognise us, but as she can't communicate in any meaningful way and I don't know what she understands of her situation.
I know that there is always hope for improvement and it is early days, but looking at my mother now and remembering what she was like only two weeks ago, and thinking about the best kind of improvement that we can hope for, I am still undecided about what I wish for. Her suffering is plain to see.
Because of her strong heart she has survived and so we must offer supportive care and clutch at the positive signs as we can. If she continues with no improvement I am sure that nature will take its course in a matter of months and her strong heart will eventually be weakened by infection or just the burden of continuing to live.
In the meantime I have to continue my life and am returning to France soon, leaving time and nature to run its course.